By: Katie Austin
In just a few short days, Thanksgiving will be here and we will be gathering around the family table to feast and reflect. This is by far one of my favorite holidays, not just because of the delicious food that will be savored, but more importantly because we will be with family and friends. We will each pause for a few minutes to answer a simple question: What are you thankful for?
A simple question with many possible answers. A question that is asked every year at this time when we gather around the holiday dinner table. What am I thankful for? My thoughts also include who I am thankful for.
As I sit here typing my next installment for the Every Woman Blog, I begin to ponder possible answers to this question. There is so much that I am thankful for! How do I sum it up into a few short sentences? Maybe the answer to the question is no one answer? The intent of the question is for you to reflect and let those close to you know how blessed you are to have them in your life.
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.
Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling.
Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
– Henry Van Dyke
Then, as I execute the next keystroke on my laptop, it hits me. I get it now. The question I should also be asking is not just “what” or “who” I am thankful for, but “when” am I thankful. It’s like I reached up and turned on the light bulb over my head! I understand now.
What about the other 364 days of the year?
Yes, we should each take time during the holiday season to be thankful, but this should extend past the Thanksgiving table. Gratitude is good for us. Feeling grateful every day is an attitude.
When you sit down with your loved ones for Thanksgiving dinner, be thankful for what and who you have been blessed with in your life. Cherish time spent together. Soak up the day and create new memories. Then, when the day is done, find ways to be grateful as a part of your daily routine.
Here are a few easy ways to work gratitude into your daily life:
- Spend time with family and friends. Schedule time to spend with those you love not just during the holidays but as often as you can. If family and friends live out of town, plan time to catch up over the phone, by texting, on Facebook, on Skype, or any other method that works. Life can change in an instant, so be grateful for time spent with those you care about.
- Volunteer. There is no greater gift you can give than by lending a hand. I look for volunteer opportunities once each quarter. This way, I am involved in my community at least 4 times a year. The community is grateful for your time and you will be thankful for the opportunity.
- Empower yourself. Instead of expecting the worst from life, expect the best! Take charge of your own destiny. Be thankful for every day you open your eyes and have the opportunity to do something wonderful!
Wishing each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and I am so thankful to be a part of the Every Woman Blog family!